City

5 steps to becoming a homebuyer in 2020

house photo
Columbia home | photo via The ART of Real Estate

On the market for a new home in Cola this year? You’re not alone. Realtor.com recently ranked Columbia in the top 10 markets for 2020. And while COVID-19 is affecting home sales across the country, Coronavirus has pushed mortgage rates lower – so if you’re actively looking to buy now, the current market could work for you. 

Across SC, the housing market was strong in 2019 and looks like it will continue to grow in 2020. Both total home sales and new listings increased 4% in 2019, and while the total number of homes available for sale dropped 3.9%, median sale price rose 7.5% to $215,000

Experts say inventory is low and demand is high despite COVID-19, and continued low mortgage rates bode well for housing for the remainder of 2020. TL;DR: Locally, our market remains strong, and now is still a good time to invest in a home in Columbia. 

If you’re a new homebuyer on the market this spring (congrats on that huge, very adult step), we’ve rounded up 5 must-do’s before you buy your first house from the experts at The ART of Real Estate

  1. Make sure you have solid credit. Having a high credit score will help you secure a loan with the best terms available. If you don’t know your score, see if your credit card company offers access to a free service, or check out Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
  2. Crunch the numbers. Being realistic about what you can afford in the beginning will save you a lot of trouble down the road. Using a mortgage calculator is helpful but can also be deceiving since most calculators do not account for taxes, insurance, maintenance, or utilities. Be conservative with your numbers so you don’t have to sacrifice and stress.
  3. Three more must-do steps here.